Q: My daughter-in-law, “Eden,” is married to my daughter. Eden is now pregnant via artificial insemination. I will never meet the donor and know almost nothing about him. Could this be why I don’t have the enthusiasm for this pregnancy that I should have, since the baby will be my first grandchild?
I feel guilty that I’m not excited. I’m wondering if it’s because there is no blood connection, but neither would there be if the baby were adopted. Eden is due in a month. We live close by, and I need to generate some enthusiasm. Any suggestions? — Grandma-in-Waiting
A: Yes. Start by doing all the things you would if you WERE excited about this grandchild. Be as participatory as your daughter and daughter-in-law will allow. If you do, while I can’t guarantee that you will feel a bond with the baby, your chances of forming one will be greater. And please stop feeling guilty. Relationships take time to build, and this is no exception.
Q: My husband and I are facing a big decision: whether to move to a better school district for our daughter. The one we’re in doesn’t rate high, and yes, we can afford to move to a more elite area. So what is holding us back? Our wonderful neighbors!
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They are our best friends. Our husbands are close, and it’s the same with our kids, even the dogs. We vacation together and take turns carpooling to school in the mornings. They have welcomed my daughter into their home, and ditto for us and their children. Are we fools to walk away from such contentment and love? — Heavy Decision in Pennsylvania
A: If you and your friends are close for reasons other than geography and convenience, your relationship with them should be a lasting one. However, your daughter’s education should come first, and if they are true friends, they will understand why you are making the move.
Q: As someone on a second marriage, may I point something out to your readers? An engagement is not marriage. People need to take a hard look at the person they are choosing to spend the rest of their lives with and understand that they cannot change another person. Red flags should be addressed DURING THE ENGAGEMENT. That little annoyance will grow and has the potential to blossom into a huge issue.
Counseling can be wonderfully useful, but bear in mind it can take several tries to find a counselor who clicks with you. Take it from me, divorce is horrible and can cause damage that can never really be undone. — Experienced in Tennessee
A: You’re right; problems don’t solve themselves, and people in love don’t always think rationally. However, I hope they will pay attention to your excellent advice because I couldn’t have said it better myself.